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Features of a Montessori Classroom

Prepared Environment

The cornerstone of the Montessori classroom is the prepared environment. Dr. Montessori believed that this environment facilitates independence and exploration. A typical Parkside classroom has the following characteristics to align with a prepared environment philosophy:

  • calm natural colors
  • child centered
  • freedom to move
  • furniture fits the children not the adults
  • orderly where every item has a special place
  • materials grouped by content
  • indoor and outdoor space when possible

Multi-Age Classroom

Another important aspect of the Montessori classroom is the multi-age classroom. Dr. Montessori believed that this provides the opportunity for students to learn from and with each other across each “plane of development”. Most Montessori schools including Parkside, group students in the following manner:


3-6 6-9 9-12 12-15


Primary Lower Elementary Upper Elementary Adolescent


TK/K 1-3 4-6 7-8

Plane of Development

Building Functional Independence


"Help me do it myself"

            Building Intellectual Independence


                   "Help me think for myself"

Building Social and Economic Independence


"Help me contribute to society"

For more information on multi-age classrooms including its benefits, please check out this information from our partners at the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector.


Every item in the Montessori classroom is carefully designed and chosen to help the child to refine and  develop all their senses. Sensorial materials help students develop observation skills and provide tactile experiences that help children understand and grade items by attributes of size, color, weight, and texture.

Please check out this video for an inside look in a public Montessori classroom.